Recently, I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and one overarching theme in that book is the crazy love of God and how our response to that love should be crazy different lives. I’m not sure if this is an exact example mentioned in the book, but one way I’ve seen myself challenged by that sentiment recently is in crazy selflessness.
So it’s Christmas season, right? It’s the season of giving… and receiving. The season of joy… and commercialism.
We’ve probably all seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, or we at least know of it. We can probably remember Charlie Brown’s complaints about the commercialism of Christmas. And we probably groaned right along with him.
But what are we doing to combat the commercialism of Christmas, really?
I know I still look forward to receiving gifts on Christmas Day. I tell myself it’s okay because it’s Christmas. Of course we’re going to receive gifts. What’s the harm in that? After all, I love giving others gifts. It’s not like I’m totally selfish.
But what about that craziness that Francis Chan was talking about? He doesn’t say that we’re okay if we’re not totally selfish. No, he says to be completely, crazily selfless. We can’t be lukewarm when it comes to following Christ. We have to be extreme.
So I’ve been challenged by the idea recently of not asking for anything this Christmas (not even giving sly little “hints”). I’ve wondered what it would be like if I simply asked for a charitable donation in lieu of gifts.
And I think it’s a wonderful, beautiful, crazy idea. It’s hard, yes, and I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve not asked for anything. But I can’t help but think—what if? What if we all did just that? That might, just might, be one big wave toward the de-commercialization of Christmas.
Kayla Johansen – Column: Road Less Traveled